Stair rail replacement

31 Aug 2014
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United Kingdom
I'm after some advice on how we can change our existing 'plank' style hand rails on our stairs to spindles.

I thought this would be well inside the realms of DIY, but due to a close wall and some wood trim it really has me stumped for ideas.

Lets start with a few pictures as no doubt my descriptions will confuse everyone!:

So I thought it would be quite easy to screw/nail the receiver for the spindles onto the stringer, then looking up the stairs where the wall started I thought I could just maybe cut the 'edging' down a bit to make it fit tight to the wall, but here's where the problems started. The main supports for the floor was covered with a faced piece of wood which I've took off, if I add this back on which I need to in order to make it look nice, I've lost approx 15mm which means I lose part of the stringer which not only effects the the spindle receiver but also how the hand rail would sit.
Agreed I could replace with a thinner piece of wood, but it will doesn't give enough space.

The only other things that I can thing of is to widen the stringer on the inside, then move everything over slightly, but this has a knock on effect of the hand rail then not fitting straight to the newel posts ... and I'm not even going into the possibility of moving the newel posts as that would just end in disaster.

All we wanted to do is get rid of this plank style handrail and put some nice spindles in.
Any ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated.
Like wise any further measurements/descriptions that are needed please let me know.
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Thanks for the reply.

I've got a design from that website, they are suggesting just putting spindles up to the height of the ceiling, then straightening the rail along the bottom of the facia board.
That would make it look okay, but you would then loose a hand rail, and while to be honest I don't really use one when walking up the stairs, I wouldn't want there not to be one for that 1 time that the dog pushes passed me or something and I need to reach out for some assistance!

Here's the design:

The design does give me a few ideas though, and lets me approach it slightly differently. maybe using the wall and your idea of a 90 degree bend to create a shorter handrail for when the one to the ceiling ends?!

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